Upper Back Pain Office Stretches

Upper Back Pain Office Stretches
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If you work in an office, your upper back pain could be interfering with how well you can do your job. Back pain contributes to headaches and people’s ability to focus. Not to mention the fact that upper back pain just doesn’t feel good. Like most types of back pain, there are numerous factors that could be contributing to the knot of tension in your upper back. That being said, there are some common causes of upper back pain specifically when you work in an office. While upper back pain is uncomfortable and annoying, it can be resolved. The key is to take the time to stretch every couple of hours. That way, tension can’t accumulate over the course of your day. You will be amazed at how much better you feel at the end of your day when you do this.

Upper Back Pain Office Stretches

Upper Back Pain Office Stretches

Supported Backbend

Sit or stand. If you stand, place your feet hip-width apart. Stay in the stretch for at least 5-10 deep inhales and long exhales.

  • Place your hands on your low back with your fingertips pointing downwards.
  • Draw your elbows closer together behind you as you reach your chest up to the ceiling. If you have tight shoulders, you may feel a stretch here.
  • To go deeper, start to bend backward. Avoid collapsing into the low back.
  • Come up slowly as sometimes backbends will make you feel light headed.

 

Side Stretch

Sit or stand. If you stand, place your feet side by side. Stay in the stretch for at least 5-10 deep inhales and long exhales.

  • Reach your arms up overhead and grab your right wrist. Turn your right palm up towards the ceiling.
  • Use the strength of your left arm to stretch yourself up and over to the left. You are making a half moon shape with your body.
  • Breathe deeply into your left side and try to relax deeper into the stretch on your exhales.
  • If you are standing, you can let your hips shift to the right.
  • Come up slowly and repeat on the other side.

 

Shoulder Stretch

Sit or stand. If you stand, place your feet hip-width apart. Stay in the stretch for at least 5-10 deep inhales and long exhales.

  • Reach your arms out towards opposite sides of the room.
  • Release your arms down, bend your elbows and wrap your right arm under your left. Cross your wrists so the palms of both hands make contact. It is as if you are ‘twist tying’ your arms together.
  • If you have tight shoulders, cross one arm underneath the other and grab for opposite shoulders.
  • To deepen the stretch, pull the arms against each other towards opposite sides of the room.
  • Take deep breaths into your back, between your shoulder blades.
  • Release the arms and repeat with the left arm underneath the right arm.

 

Neck Stretch

Sit or stand. If you stand, place your feet hip-width apart. Stay in the stretch for at least 5-10 deep inhales and long exhales.

  • Drop your chin to your chest until you feel a stretch in the back of your neck. You may even feel the stretch all the way down to the upper back.
  • Let the head just hang there for a couple of breaths.
  • Start to roll the chin across your chest towards one shoulder. Then roll your chin back across your chest to the other shoulder.
  • To exit the stretch, return your chin to the center of your chest before lifting it back up.

 

Forward Fold

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Stay in the stretch for at least 5-10 deep inhales and long exhales.

  • Bring your hands to your hips, bend your knees and fold forward over your thighs.
  • Keep the knees bent so that your hamstrings can release and your upper body can just drape forward over your thighs.
  • Let your head hang heavy and either dangle your arms or grab at opposite elbows.
  • Depending on where you feel the most tension in your back, you may feel this in the upper back or lower down.
  • To exit the stretch, roll your spine up slowly back to vertical.

 

Stress and Upper Back Pain

It is common to ‘store’ stress in the upper back, between the shoulder blades. So in addition to the tension you are feeling from sitting at a desk all day, stress is adding more tightness to your back. If this is the case with you, know that the breathing involved in these stretches will help to alleviate some of that stress. If you feel that your upper back pain is mostly due to stress, spend some extra time breathing deeply after stretching. Over time you will find that your body is much better at relaxing and releasing the tension in your back that is causing you pain.

 

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